Enve is entering new territory with their brand new AM30 carbon wheelset. The rims are still made in the US, but the $1,600 price tag is much less than what we've come to expect from Enve, and even better, the spoke nipples are now located on the outside of the rim – no more pulling off rim strips to true a wheel or replace a spoke. The wheels are intended for bikes with between 110 – 180mm of travel with 2.3 - 2.6" tires, a range that reflects the breadth of the trail / enduro category these days.
The AM30 wheels use a new rim profile that has a 30mm internal width and a height of just 20 millimeters, 7 millimeters less than Enve's M730 rims. That lower height is intended to provide better damping and impact absorption, reducing the likelihood of a broken rim.
Enve AM30 Details
• Intended use: all-mountain / enduro
• 29" and 27.5" options
• 30mm internal width
• 28 Sapim spokes, brass nipples
• Industry Nine 1/1 hubs
• Lifetime incident protection
• Made in USA
• Weight: 1883g; front: 876g / rear: 1007g (actual, 29")
• MSRP: $1600 USD
The lower height is also one of the reasons the spoke nipples are now located outside the rim – otherwise there would have been a chance that a spoke could puncture the rim tape under hard impacts. Enve molds the spoke holes into the rim, rather than drilling the holes after the fact, another step they say helps increase rim strength.
The hookless rim bead is also extra-thick to prevent pinch flats – that additional width helps spread out the impact force when a tire gets pinched against the rim. Enve is confident enough about the rim's ability to prevent flats that they don't recommend running inserts, although the rim's warranty is still valid even if they're used, which isn't always the case with other carbon rims.
The rims are laced to Industry Nine's 1/1 hubs, which are also made in the US, and use a six pawl driver and 45-tooth drive ring to achieve 4-degrees between engagement points. Boost and SuperBoost options are available, although Centerlock is the only rotor mounting option for now – riders who plan on running 6-bolt rotors will need to use an adaptor.
The wheels are covered by Enve's Lifetime Incident Protection Program, which covers pretty much anything that could feasibly happen to the wheels. Damage from crashes, running into a parking garage with your bike on the roof rack, or close encounters with hot exhaust pipes are all covered, and the damaged product will be replaced at no cost.
On paper, the new AM30 wheels look very promising, but how they handle and hold up out on the trail is what really matters. After all, it's no secret that we've had some durability issues with previous models. I have a set in for review, and I'll be putting them to the test over the next few months before reporting back with a verdict.